Image: Sony

Here’s some disturbing news for console gamers. GamesIndustry.biz has learned that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions of NBA 2k21 will cost $69.99, which seems to suggest that next-gen titles will be priced $10 higher than the current $59.99 standard. Evidently, the basketball title isn’t merely an outlier, as other game publishers are considering raising game prices across the board.

“The last time that next-gen launch software pricing went up was in 2005 and 2006, when it went from $49.99 to $59.99 at the start of the Xbox 360 and PS3 generation,” pointed out IDG President and CEO Yoshio Osaki.

“Even with the increase to $69.99 for next-gen, that price increase from 2005 to 2020 next-gen is only up 17%, far lower than the other comparisons. While the cost of development and publishing have gone up, and pricing in other entertainment verticals has also gone up substantially, next-gen software pricing has not reflected these increases. $59.99 to $69.99 does not even cover these other cost increases completely, but does move it more in the proper direction.”

Would you pay $69.99 for a flagship title? Or will you just wait a few months for the inevitable sale?

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19 Comments

  1. That’s bullllllshit. I get it ten bucks isn’t a huge price disparity but you know everyone is going to charge that regardless of if their games required that level of compensation or not just to reap the cash benefit.

    REmember when 40 or 50 bucks for a game also got you a paper or sometimes cloth map. How the instruction manual might have stores in it as well that set the tone for then game. Now with digital delivery of games there is not add-on materials to eat cost. Yet they have to raise the price? Something doesn’t pass the smell test.

  2. I paid $70 for a Super Nintendo game back in the day … BUTT!! .. I’ll wait for the bargain bin sales.. at those prices, no day one purchases for me.
  3. That’s bullllllshit. I get it ten bucks isn’t a huge price disparity but you know everyone is going to charge that regardless of if their games required that level of compensation or not just to reap the cash benefit.

    REmember when 40 or 50 bucks for a game also got you a paper or sometimes cloth map. How the instruction manual might have stores in it as well that set the tone for then game. Now with digital delivery of games there is not add-on materials to eat cost. Yet they have to raise the price? Something doesn’t pass the smell test.

    One could argue that $50 in 2000 is equivalent to $70 in 2020… you know, inflation and all that jazz. No trinkets doesn’t really bother me all that much… some are cool to look at for the first 5 seconds, but then what?

    Nowadays, I find myself spending as much as $250 for CE’s and as little as $1 during Steam sales, however… while $70 wouldn’t be completely unreasonable in certain situations, it looks bad. $70 for a game, then add 10% tax… and it’s now a $77 game… we’re closing in on that $100 mark for a single game, and with a potential cost of new consoles at $600, you’re looking to spend $1k for a system and a few games… I don’t think that’s something people are willing to pay.

  4. Well… Might be inevitable.. but in reality game prices are all over the place so one can always wait for sales and so on… However, higher prices doesn’t mean necessarily more money… I know for me 40 would be an easy decision, 50 less so, 60 is already on the nearly always no I will wait and see… Of course 70 is even harder. Its the same with DVDs, I NEVER buy DVDs… I would buy tons if they where no more than 10$ ( more like 5 to 8)… I guess they know the price / demand curve so they’ll do what makes sense. I know myself at 60 bucks I am nearly out of their radar on that initial pricing window, so I am basically bumped out of it… My guess 70 will happen, I find incredible how much money people as a group burns without a second thought and really price matters little when you are capturing fervor. The fervor seems really to be a name your price situation, so Im okay with it, as long as the price drop cadance stays, and I can sneak out deals and anniversary editions on the cheap and so on. I don’t always do, but I tend to avoid the fervor window (mostly, not completely)
  5. One could argue that $50 in 2000 is equivalent to $70 in 2020… you know, inflation and all that jazz. No trinkets doesn’t really bother me all that much… some are cool to look at for the first 5 seconds, but then what?

    Nowadays, I find myself spending as much as $250 for CE’s and as little as $1 during Steam sales, however… while $70 wouldn’t be completely unreasonable in certain situations, it looks bad. $70 for a game, then add 10% tax… and it’s now a $77 game… we’re closing in on that $100 mark for a single game, and with a potential cost of new consoles at $600, you’re looking to spend $1k for a system and a few games… I don’t think that’s something people are willing to pay.

    Well inflation yes, however cost of distribution have probably dropped tremendously. Even media costs probably drops tremendously to the point of being nothing.. I would bet the jewel case and the artwork are nearly the same cost than the media itself, if not actually MORE than the media itself. I wonder what the budget formula is for a AAA game? 50 percent promotion costs 30 percent Hollywood actors, and 20 percent actual game? That would be my guess… With that 20 percent being the most man hours, and most pressed workers for efficiency. These are out of my butt numbers of course.. would be cool to get an insider view though.

  6. It’s mainly been the price of games that made me go from consoles to PC. Give it a few weeks and you’ll find a brand new PC game marked down or on sale, but the same thing cannot be said for consoles. I agree the price of inflation is more than likely spot on with these new games, but that’s pricey for me.
  7. REmember when 40 or 50 bucks for a game also got you a paper or sometimes cloth map. How the instruction manual might have stores in it as well that set the tone for then game. Now with digital delivery of games there is not add-on materials to eat cost. Yet they have to raise the price? Something doesn’t pass the smell test.

    Yep, I remember those days. I remember buying Ultima III and IV and all the cool swag that came in the box. The boxes themselves were artwork in design as well. I also remember spending $25 for cartridges for my Atari console then and when I upgraded to my Atari 400 things ranged from $14.99 to $49.99.

    I’ll pay $59.99 to $69.99 for some games now but they’ve really got to have the content to go with it. It’s pretty rare though. Maybe two or three a year. My only regret this year, so far, was paying full price for RE3. Great looking game but definitely not worth it IMO. I expected more after how much I enjoyed RE2 and RE7. I Haven’t pre-ordered Cyberpunk 2077, yet, but probably will at some point. I paid full for SOTTR and didn’t regret it even after it went on sale a month or so later. They had a great DLC schedule planned, and good reputation on following up with, so I didn’t really care if/when it might go on sale. I did the same for Metro Exodus.

    At this point, though, I think console gamers are going to have to adjust, one way or another. The tech is seriously reaching PC levels, albeit entry-to-mid tier levels. Next-gen stuff is edging even closer to high-end equipment and prices for everything there are going to go up.

    Recently I posted this story about an interesting question from an ex PS exec. Would you pay less for games if they had less content and instead released games more quickly? That could be a double-edged proposition. On one side, it could help lower prices and decrease times to release. However, it could also incentivize publishers to segment releases, raise prices artificially, thus creating a dynamic where gamers actually end up paying much more over a shorter span of time.

  8. I don’t think game economics are a one-size fits all situation

    There are some games I’ve gladly spent $70 for. Shoot, there are some MMOs that, over the course of time, I’ve spent hundreds, if not thousands, on.
    Then there are some games that, even at Free, I regret.

    I think there’s room for the $70 AAA title. With "Digital Deluxe" editions, they are already there, so this really isn’t all that shocking.
    I think there’s room for the episodic release model.
    I certain think there’s room for the Deep Sale Events (Steam Events, etc).
    I think there’s room for the subscription model – both the traditional MMO subscription, and the Game Pass / PSN model.
    I think there’s room for Free To Play with paid cash shop model.
    And I think there’s room for whatever comes up next.

    So long as the console licensing / economic model allows for all of these things to survive and be flexible, I think it will work itself out.

  9. I don’t think game economics are a one-size fits all situation

    There are some games I’ve gladly spent $70 for. Shoot, there are some MMOs that, over the course of time, I’ve spent hundreds, if not thousands, on.
    Then there are some games that, even at Free, I regret.

    I think there’s room for the $70 AAA title. With "Digital Deluxe" editions, they are already there, so this really isn’t all that shocking.
    I think there’s room for the episodic release model.
    I certain think there’s room for the Deep Sale Events (Steam Events, etc).
    I think there’s room for the subscription model – both the traditional MMO subscription, and the Game Pass / PSN model.
    I think there’s room for Free To Play with paid cash shop model.
    And I think there’s room for whatever comes up next.

    So long as the console licensing / economic model allows for all of these things to survive and be flexible, I think it will work itself out.

    I agree but I feel like every CEO at these game publishers are going to self determine that their game is worth 70 regardless of what its really worth.

  10. I agree but I feel like every CEO at these game publishers are going to self determine that their game is worth 70 regardless of what its really worth.

    Yeah, at release… sure.

    But when it doesn’t sell at $70, I expect we’ll see a lot of those prices come down pretty quick.

    They can only charge what the market will bear.

    Of course, that’s assuming that people aren’t going to rush out and pay $70 en masse. Maybe they will, in which case, the price will only continue to creep up until those CEOs find the price that the market will bear.

    I only buy a a game at release maybe every other year… it’s not often a game has me excited enough to pay the Day 1 Premium. I almost always wait for it to go on sale. Once the price has dropped to what I think the game is worth, then I buy it.

  11. We live in a world where you can wait a few months and get a game for 50% off, or wait a year or two and get a $60 game for $5. They can increase next-gen game prices all they want, I still ain’t buying them until they hit deep sales.
  12. I’m with you guys, I rarely buy full price launch titles, maybe one every year or 3. And often times it has been a disappointment (Civ 6! Beyond Earth! etc etc)

    I will be waiting for sales or hop back into the console used game market if I bite on a PS5. Back in my 360/PS3 days I think I bought less than 2 or 3 full price games (and I think Mass Effects were in there) ever. Almost all of my games were second hand, or BD/xmas presents. I used to be on a game trading site called Goozex (RIP) that was awesome for playing and swapping. When they bit the dust, I went all in on ebay.

    Mark my words…. these game prices inching up mean we will see $99 games soon. Maybe even this coming generation PS5/XBOX-X (MS are masters at terrible product names)

  13. Hunt Showdown Master Edition is already $79.99 on PS4 store.

    Hunt Showdown Bayoi Edition is already $99.99 on the PS4 store.

    Prices are already there…

  14. I got my PS4 soooo late, in fact just last holiday season… Best decision ever… Best games for the lowest prices imaginable! I now have a huge backlog to play, and won’t consider getting a ps5 until after my backlog. I did get the switch fairly early and played some of that for quite a while… Getting a console later is better I think.
  15. I tend to buy quite a few games at full price. The requirement being that my friends are currently all playing and enjoying it. I guess thats my concern but I also fully agree with you Brian_B. Prices will fall especially when the market speaks.
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